Filth Flies

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They land on our food. They land on our skin. They drive us crazy when they buzz around us. But, these insects are not simply irritating pests. Many flies are drawn to filth. They feed on decomposing animals, crawl around in rotting trash, and get into many other dirty places to get a bite to eat. For this reason, flies should not be welcome in any home and, especially, any kitchen area.


There are many flies that are drawn to filth. Some are so filthy, they can even find a meal from the feces of animals. It is this attraction to dirty, decaying things, that puts a fly in this category. The following are the most common filth flies that get into kitchens.

House Fly
Musca domestica

The most common filth fly is the house fly, which is often called a "common" house fly because of its frequent appearance in homes. Of all filth flies, these are the flies that will spread illness. This is a gray fly that grows to about ¼ of an inch. It has four dark stripes on its back that distinguish this from other flies.

Blow Flies
Calliphoridae sp.

There are several species of blow fly, many of which have a metallic coloring. These flies are often mistaken for house flies. They have similar behaviors and will pose the same threat in your kitchen.

Fruit Flies
Drosophila sp.

These tiny filth flies, with their tiny red eyes, are notorious for breeding into swarms. If you leave fruit out, or anything sweet, these flies will have the food source they need to grow their population quickly. They can also feed on food stuck to dishes, sugar grains near the coffee maker, and decaying organic matter in your trash.'

Drain Flies
Clogmia albipunctata

This is a fuzzy looking fly that prefers to breed in drains. If you suspect that you have drain flies, there is an easy way to know for sure. Cover your drains with packing tape and see if any flies come up from your drain and stick to it.

Fungus Gnats
Sciaridae sp.

These are tiny black flies that don't really deserve to be named a fly, perhaps that is why someone decided to call them gnats. While they have wings and are able to fly, the most notable trait of this "fly" is that it will run across surfaces. This lazy behavior makes it easy to squish fungus gnats when you find them on the wall. Just wash your hand afterward.

Phorid Flies
Phoridae sp.

These small flies are black or a dim brown, and are most recognizable by the arch of their thorax. This has led some to call them "humpback" flies. It is also called a sewer fly or coffin fly because they prefer to feed on decaying flesh and other rotting things. Like fungus gnats, phorid flies are horrible flyers. This will have them running up walls, across your kitchen table, and on your computer screen.


Filth flies feed on decomposing vegetables and animals. When they do, they pick up harmful bacteria and carry it through the air to cutting boards, counters, food shelves, and dishes. They can also deposit this bacteria directly on food when they land on it.


A filth fly problem can arise in many ways. Since these insects are able to fly, they can come right in through your door when you enter your home. You may also carry them in when you bring groceries home. Some filth flies have eggs that are barely visible to the naked eye. These eggs can be on fruits and vegetables when you purchase them.



Sanitation and removal of breeding sites are key in managing filth flies. It may also be necessary to install traps in strategic locations to ensure full control. Be sure that your window and door screens are all in good working condition and that there are no gaps for these insects to slip through your exterior walls. Store fruits in your refrigerator, rather than leave them out. And, consider leaving your dishes in soapy water, rather than next to the sink in a dry stack.

Of course, the best way to get rid of filth flies and prevent infestation from occurring in the first place is to call a professional pest control company, like Adam's Pest Control. Our QualtyPro Certified team is standing by to assist you.